Note 10: Soil and groundwater remediation
There are costs associated with the assessment and remediation of historical soil and groundwater contamination. We periodically review historic contamination at our sites, taking remedial action when required, and have procedures to prevent new contamination.
A dedicated group of legal and environmental experts assesses, manages and resolves environmental liabilities. In line with IFRS accounting rules, we make provisions for environmental remediation costs when it is probable that liability will materialize and the cost can be reasonably estimated. We have set aside €252 million, which we believe is sufficient for the sites where we have ownership or responsibility. See Note 16 of the Consolidated financial statements.
Mandatory annual environmental liability reviews are conducted to review risks, monitor progress in resolving our liabilities and assess changes in company exposure.
During 2016, we continued to move our coatings portfolio to more water-based and VOC-free products. These products have several benefits for home interiors, such as paint which improves indoor air quality (see Case studies) and new furniture coatings that are replacing more traditional solvent-based systems (see Case studies).
Volatile organic compounds.